British insurtech firm YuLife raises $120 million led by Dai-ichi Life

·1 min read

LONDON (Reuters) - YuLife has raised $120 million led by Japanese insurer Dai-ichi Life, valuing the British insurtech firm at $800 million as it plans to expand into the United States and South Africa, its CEO said.

The valuation is more than double the levels seen at YuLife's previous funding round a year ago as the company, which provides group life insurance polices in Britain, has had a fivefold rise in gross written premiums in the past 12 months.

Its policies include health incentives - employees earn shopping vouchers for time spent exercising or meditating.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for YuLife's products, said CEO Sammy Rubin, with employees often choosing to work from home, or even switch jobs.

"Companies are focusing more and more on wellbeing," Rubin said. "Employees are looking for more than just a salary and a computer."

Insurtech - the insurance branch of fintech, or financial technology - enjoyed a record financing year last year, according to reinsurance broker Gallagher Re.

But the Ukraine conflict and rising inflation and interest rates have reduced appetite.

Global insurtech funding totalled $2.2 billion in the first quarter, down 57% from the previous quarter, Gallagher Re said.

Existing YuLife investors including Target Global and Eurazeo also took part in the late-stage "C" series funding round, the company said in a statement.

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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